What to say about ROOM? We braved the busy Hwy. 280 Valentine's Day traffic to eat supper and trek across town to see this movie at the only theater where it was playing... if I had to do over again, I think we would just stay in! Which is kind of the perfect segue to the movie.
5 year old Jack was born in ROOM, the shed with a skylight where his mother lives as a captive of "Old Nick," who visits every night and brings them Sunday treats -- except when he decides not to, and instead cuts the power and leaves Ma and Jack to freeze or starve.
On the one hand it's a terrifying portrait of what cruelty humans are capable of, and on the other it's an inspiring look at the power of a mother's love to create something beautiful for her child, even in the midst of horror and despair.
Ma tells Jack he will love the world, and she coaches him on what he needs to do to help them get out of ROOM. He's scared, so scared -- not just of the unknown, but of leaving Ma. He's only 5, and she's all he's known. I leave it to you to watch the movie and find out what happens.
book by Emma Donoghue the year it came out. I have said more than once to others that the novel really like two books in one: the part inside Room, and the part outside. The movie version was more cohesive, and it reminded me of another book: GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown.
Maybe I thought of this book when I read the novel, but I don't remember making that connection back then. It's so touching, Jack's need to name things and greet them and say goodbye to them... so very child-like, and a good reminder to those of us writing for children. There is magic in everything when we're children, and part of our job as creators of books for children is to re-discover that magic. (Writing this as a reminder for myself, as I continue revising a dear-to-me verse novel!)
ROOM has been nominated for a few Oscars, including Best Picture. I don't think it will win -- really think Leo diCaprio and REVENANT will carry the night -- but please do see this movie, with a loved one tucked close beside you.